Yass and District Museum celebrates Alfred Shearsby

Alfred Shearsby was once described as 'a person of amazing versatility in the traditional anti-culture climate in which he lived'. Photos supplied

Alfred Shearsby was once described as 'a person of amazing versatility in the traditional anti-culture climate in which he lived'. Photos supplied

Alfred Shearsby was once described as 'a person of amazing versatility in the traditional anti-culture climate in which he lived'.

His fields of study and pastimes did set him apart from the mainstream interests of Yass inhabitants.

However, his devotion to the community was unbounded in the support that he gave numbers of organisations that benefited the district.

The Yass and District Historical Society will celebrate his life in its latest exhibition AJ Shearsby, Renaissance Man of Yass.

Dr Mathew Trinca, director of the National Museum of Australia, will officially open the new exhibition on Friday October 11.

Sydney-born in 1872, Shearsby arrived in Yass as a bank clerk in 1898 and except for two brief periods he made Yass his home, living modestly, until his death in 1962.

His range of interests and capabilities was incredibly diverse.

His geological and paleontological skills were highly regarded by academia and he frequently collaborated with university professionals.

Shearsby compiled two significant photographic collections, including one of 500-plus photographs of Burrinjuck Dam's construction (1907-1920s).

Shearsby compiled two significant photographic collections, including one of 500-plus photographs of Burrinjuck Dam's construction (1907-1920s).

Shearsby was the go-to man for anything from administration to artistic pursuits.

His expertise in astronomy, microscopy and philately was recognised by experts and examples of his artistic skills can be seen in the ornate illuminated addresses and landscapes that he painted as well as a collection of his published papers.

Today he is remembered for his photography and well over a hundred of his images and the camera he used will be on display. Shearsby compiled two significant photographic collections.

His range of interests and capabilities was incredibly diverse.

Cheryl Mongan

The first shows more than 400 images of Yass men and women who served during World War One.

The second contains over 500 of photographs recording the construction of Burrinjuck Dam from 1907 through to the late 1920s.

'Archie', one of the small steam engines that carried goods and passengers to 'Burrinjuck City', was captured by Shearsby's camera on numerous occasions.

'Archie', one of the small steam engines that carried goods and passengers to 'Burrinjuck City', was captured by Shearsby's camera on numerous occasions.

'Archie', one of the small steam engines that carried goods and passengers to 'Burrinjuck City' during the dam's construction, was captured by Shearsby's camera on numerous occasions.

A meticulously constructed working model of the engine which took over 600 hours to complete is part of the exhibition.

  • The Yass and District Museum, 247A Comur Street, will be open on Saturday October 12. Weekends/public holidays, 10am to 4pm. Groups by arrangement with Yass Valley Information Centre, 6226 2557.

We care about what you think.

Have your say in the form below: